Funding flowing in for Billerica's post-prom party
By Rick Sobey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: 05/20/2014 06:34:38 AM
BILLERICA — As the all-night after-graduation party approaches, the school district is receiving funds to help defray the costs for the substance-free, fun-filled event.
Billerica is one of 12 Middlesex County school districts that has received $500 from the District Attorney's Office in support of sober after-prom and after-graduation events.
"We're very thankful for the DA for supporting this important event," said Billerica Superintendent of Schools Tim Piwowar. "It serves two purposes: It's a great celebration for members of the graduating class, a positive activity to say a last goodbye.
"And then this also gives an opportunity to have something really positive, which helps make their ability to make a good choice that much easier," Piwowar added.
The $500 will go directly toward the Billerica Blast, an all-night substance-free celebration for Billerica Memorial High School seniors held the night of graduation at the high school.
Graduation is June 3, followed by the Blast from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The Blast began in 1999, and has consistently attracted more than 90 percent of the graduating class.
The goal of the Blast Committee, formed by a group of parents and community volunteers, is to reward the graduating seniors with a safe, memorable and fun-filled party. The event is made possible through private donations.
"With prom and graduation season upon us, this is a fun and exciting time of the year for students and their families," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said.
"We want it to be marked by wonderful celebrations and terrific memories that will last a lifetime, not by a preventable tragedy.
"We support our schools' efforts to organize substance-free post-prom and graduation events to ensure everyone has a happy and safe time as they celebrate this important milestone and all that they have accomplished," she added.
Each year many teenagers are injured or killed in alcohol-related traffic fatalities on prom and graduation nights, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for young adults between 15 and 19, and many of those deaths are caused by impaired or distracted driving.
Other Middlesex County school districts that received the stipend include Woburn, Wakefield, Reading and North Reading.
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